Billboard Cover Sneak Peek: 5 Reasons Imagine Dragons Aren't Your Typical Rock Stars
Billboard's latest cover stars Imagine Dragons aren't your typical rock band for a lot of reasons. For starters, they're really, really successful. They're one of only two rock bands with at least three top 40 hits since 2010 (Fun is the other) and inescapable EDM-tinged single "Radioactive" hung in the Hot 100 for a record-shattering 87 weeks.
But chart success, with an awful lot of synch love (like their unprecedented, live four-minute Target-sponsored Grammy ad) isn't the only reason Imagine Dragons aren't your typical rock stars. They may call Las Vegas home, but aside from some occasional naked gallivanting (more on that below), they're not exactly leaving death and destruction in their path. Check out five revelations from their cover story, which is out Friday, Feb. 13
1. They're Definitely Not Mötley Crüe
"We're not tatted-up, trying to make a statement," frontman Dan Reynolds tells Billboard. "The spirit of rock'n'roll is not that you're living on the edge, that you're a cokehead -- those are just lifestyle choices." He's admittedly not big on going out and afterparties, either.
2. They Were Discovered by a British Hip-Hop Producer
There was a time Imagine Dragons were playing Las Vegas malls (they even opened for a mime once). Then came along Alex Da Kid, producer of hits like Eminem and Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie" and B.o.B. and Hayley Williams' "Airplanes." "I didn't realize it was just one band," he said of an early EP. "I thought it was the best songs from different bands." He originally wanted to team with Reynolds to write songs for other artists, but instead signed Imagine Dragons to his Interscope imprint Kidina-korner.
3. Reynolds Met His Wife Chatting About Religion
Reynolds met the Nico Vega singer five years ago at a gig (Imagine Dragons was opening), though the conversation started off more philosophically than you'd expect. "Our first question was, 'What do you believe?" Reynolds tells Billboard. Volkman spoke about giving up on Scientology, while Reynolds discussed doubting his Mormon roots.
4. They're Watching Their Gluten
Drummer Daniel Platzman is gluten-intolerant and Reynolds suffers from an autoimmune disease that effects his starch intake. Talking with Billboard, bassist Ben McKee shares a recipe for gluten-free peanut butter cookies and McKee advises Platzman on the sugar content in different apple varieties.
5. Their Post-High School Pursuits Weren't Very Rock'n' Roll
For two years after high school, Reynolds went on a Mormon mission in Nebraska, helping drug addicts. Later on, dropping out of Brigham Young University was a difficult decision, since he came from "a family where academia is priority one." It's helped, though: One of his older brothers manages Imagine Dragons and another is its lawyer. The other three members dropped out of the Berklee School of Music; McKee was receiving financial assistance from a California state scholarship for talented chemistry students.
For more, read the full Billboard cover story on Friday, Feb. 13.